“Butterflies”

Hi everybody! It’s been a busy weekend and week so far. My wife had Saturday off, so we got to spend some much needed time together. Then we had an ice storm Monday night and the kids were home with me all day yesterday. The one good thing about that ice storm is that I finally finished a project that kept getting set aside for other things.
 
These are my butterflies. They’re for sale as a set on my Etsy shop. They were originally going to be a set of 6, but one of them just didn’t make the cut. These are 5 mini paintings on 2”x2” canvas panels. These were fun and pretty easy to make.
I started out by prepping my canvas panels with white gesso. Then, (I use this trick a lot, because it’s fun and makes some really nice effects), I drizzled rubber cement in patterns over all of the canvas panels, and allowed it to dry.
The next step was staining each one with water and liquid acrylics. My original idea was to have one for each color of the rainbow, but my yellow one just didn’t work out. Once that was dry I rubbed the rubber cement off of each panel, revealing the white patterns underneath. Then I went over each panel with a glaze of acrylic matte medium and liquid acrylic.
Next came the fun part. I used some modeling paste and butterfly stencils to create the raised butterflies on each panel. This is the first time I had used the modeling paste, and that’s how I lost my yellow butterfly. It was the first one that I did, and I didn’t get the molding paste spread through the entire stencil and didn’t notice until it had dried and I went to paint it. Poor butterfly. Anyway, you can use any flat surface to push the molding paste through a stencil onto the canvas. It takes about 24 hours to dry completely and dries opaque.
The final step. Which sadly, took about a week for me to get around to doing, was to paint the butterflies. You can paint, glaze or stain molding paste with just about anything, but for this project, I used watered down liquid acrylics as a stain, because they would be easier to blend and mix to create the colors that I wanted.
And that’s it! I hope that sharing my methods helps you all to explore and try new things. Every time I’m working on something and I think, “This is crazy!” I stop and remind myself that there are no rules to art. Art gives you a chance to think outside the box… of paints. There are no limits. If you want to paint with corn chowder, do it! You might look and feel crazy, but I bet you can do some really fun things with it!
On another note, yesterday I bought tcathermitchell.com. Right now I have that url set to point here to my blog, but I’m hoping that in the near future I will be making a more professional homepage with that url. This blog will still be updated and accessible through my homepage and at this web address, but Blogger has its limitations, and I’d like to have a more professional looking web presence.
That’s all for now. I’ll be writing one more post today, sharing something that I’ve been struggling with over the last few weeks, which is one of the biggest reasons it took me so long to finish this project.
Thanks for reading, and keep creating!

 

T.
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